It sucks in a big way and I try to avoid it but it’s still out there. Let me give you an example of what I mean…
Bebe loves art. She’s good at it. She has mad drawing skills. I had semi-mad drawing skills when I was her age, which means; she’s better at it than I was.
I know this and so I encourage it. My house is full of art supplies, paints, crayons, colored pencils, rubber stamps… you name it, we have it or it’s on our “to get” art list.
Bug hates to write. THIS KILLS ME LIKE A KNIFE THROUGH MY HEART. Because you know… I love writing. It’s the one thing I can do without too much error. So I’ve been prone to push him when it comes to writing. I walk him through those tough written reports and sit on him until I get to see the finished product.
Again… my successes and failures lie in the hands of our kids.
We live through them. Deny it if you want to but even before they were born, as they grew inside you, your mind was filled with “I hope they love to dance, sing, I hope they’ll play this or that” (like you did).
So when they fail, we feel it. We feel it as deeply and as painfully if it’s happening to us.
I’m looked at Bug’s progress report last week and I saw not one but TWO F’s.
That means fail.
Once my anger subsided and I could get past my instinct to beat him with his textbooks, sadness set in.
What on earth would posses him to fail?
I realize that it’s his grades, it’s his work and if he doesn’t do the work, there’s little I can do. I can sit on him, make him sit at the homework table all night, follow his grades online but short of walking him to each and every class and watching him turn homework in, there’s little I can do. I’ve tried to explain and drive home the fact that it’s all up to him. He’s responsible for the grades he gets. It’s his job and responsibility to do well. I understand that it’s his education that he’s throwing away too.
So if it’s in his hands, why do I feel so responsible and feel like these are my grades as well? Have I not motivated him properly? My head swirls with what I could be doing differently or what I could have done.
I’d tell you not to hinge your life on whether or not your kids are successful but I’d be lying to you. The fact is that even if I wanted to throw my hands up and say “Well, that’s it. You’ve dug your way in, now you have to dig your way out, ” I can’t. I will do whatever it is I can help him. Whether it be continue to check his assignments online, talk to teachers, nag and hound him about his work until he hates the sound of my voice.
Because no matter how badly I’d want to give up and let suffer the consequences, I’d be doing a disservice to him by giving up on him.
If it were your child, what would you do? How far do you go to help them succeed and learn from their mistakes before you give up and let them taste the full flavor of failure on their own?